Welcome to the Decorators and Designers Association of Canada’s ultimate guide to bespoke design in interior decorating. Bespoke is a term that has become a mainstream trend in the field of interior design – but why? There has been a notable increase in consumer preference for personalization and customization in 2024. It’s no shock that in a mass-production and consumption world, consumers are leaning towards customizable options as a way to infuse their own style into their living space; so much so that 76% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that personalizes their offers. Bespoke is an additional customizable option for your clients that offers your client more flexibility than changing the upholstery.

What is Bespoke (and Why Does it Matter)?

The term “bespoke” is derived from the Old English word “besprecan”, meaning to speak or to address, and embodies the essence of customization and individuality. When referring to bespoke in interior design, we’re addressing the creation of unique, handmade, and personalized solutions that cater to the specific tastes, preferences, and requirements of your clients. The completely custom pieces or elements are crafted to specifically reflect your clients and their unique lifestyles. Picture a world where you can meet all the needs and wants of your clients by providing design and decor options tailored specifically for them rather than sourcing a mass-produced option that fits most of your client’s specifications. 

The Art Concierge – the art concierge

The History of Bespoke

The term bespoke has a rich history going back to its origins in medieval England. Its roots lie in the world of tailoring, specifically where it was used to describe garments that were reserved or ordered in advance. In 16th-century London, Savile Row, known for its skilled tailors and fine craftsmanship, is where the concept of bespoke tailoring emerged. 

Over time, bespoke came to be associated with other forms of craftsmanship and customized goods. The term has been commonly associated with clothing but is now used to describe goods and services that are tailored to a client’s specific needs and wants.

When looking at bespoke in the field of interior design and decorating, it refers to custom-made or tailored design solutions for interior design and decor. Bespoke elements in design can range from furniture to cabinetry, lighting to architectural details and everything in between.

The more mainstream bespoke design becomes, the more highly associated it is with terms like luxury, and exclusivity across various industries. Today, bespoke represents a dedication to quality, individuality, and attention to detail. It ensures goods and services are timeless and made to last.

ISTINTO – Venetian Plaster Shop (zscaler.com)

Benefits of Bespoke Design

  1. Customization & Personalization: Custom dimensions, carefully, selected materials to match your desired living space and use. You have a sense of your soul and personality in what is made for you. Bespoke offerings allow you to 100% tailor the good or service to your specific preference and lifestyle needs. You can choose materials, colours, and styles curated specifically for you. 
  2. Quality & Craftsmanship: There is nothing better than knowing and feeling the personal care, thought, and love that goes into every element of bespoke offerings. These custom offerings are hand-crafted by expert artisans and craftsmen with unparalleled attention to detail and precision crafting products of the highest quality. Bespoke elements add a level of sophistication and value to your home.
  3. Optimized Functionality: Being able to curate items specific to your needs and requirements maximizes functionality and usability. Custom storage solutions, built-in furniture, and fabric solutions enhance efficiency and organization, making everyday living more convenient and enjoyable.
  4. Longevity and Timelessness: When investing in bespoke elements, you are making a lifetime investment in custom pieces that will grow with you and your family will fight over once you’re gone. Bespoke offerings use premium materials and artisanal techniques ensuring durability and resilience against wear and tear.
  5. Emotional Connection & Well-being: Amber Lewis said it herself with her Four Hands collaborated line, since the pandemic people want to live differently. With people spending more time in their homes, no one wants their living spaces to look like a showroom. People want spaces that look nice, are functional and are comfortable. Tailored pieces or design elements that directly speak to forecasted use and desired comfort will enhance your emotional connection to your space and your well-being. Having a space that is personalized to you can have a positive impact on your sense of comfort, happiness, and fulfillment.
    Emerald Designer Edition | Sherwin-Williams

Benefits of Bespoke Design for Interior Decorators and Firms

  1. Increased Client Satisfaction & Stronger Client Relationships: Being able to provide 100% customized solutions that truly allow your clients to showcase their unique personality and vision into your design through high-quality offerings ensures not only increased client satisfaction but also loyalty. Collaborating with your clients for customized solutions builds a foundation of trust and mutual respect. Understanding your client’s individual preferences and being able to deliver on those preferences builds the foundation for lasting relationships that foster future business and referrals from that client.
  2. Competitive Differentiation: In such a saturated market, it can be difficult for designers and decorators to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Offering a unique service, such as bespoke goods and services, can set individual designers, decorators, and entire firms apart from competitors. The inclusion and introduction of bespoke design offerings will allow you to position yourself or your firm as a premium provider of customized, and high-value or luxury offerings tailored for each client’s specific set of needs.
  3. Higher Perceived Brand Value: When analyzing your business offerings and your position in the market, you need to determine “why you?” – why are your clients coming to you over your competitors; that’s your value proposition. Offering bespoke elements enables you to market yourself or your firm as a luxury service provider. Bespoke offerings add a feeling of exclusivity and a “one of a kind” mindset. This mindset increases your perceived value in the eyes of your clients. The custom-made, artisanal finishes, expert craftsmanship, and sustainability all elevate the overall quality and skill utilized in the design. With the increased value proposition and competitive advantage, you will be able to charge more for your services.
  4. Flexibility & Adaptability: Any designer or decorator knows that you must be flexible. Being able to adapt to client preference changes, budget restraints, space restrictions, or functional requirements. Being able to specifically tailor a challenging element in your design – be it cabinetry, furniture, or architectural details, bespoke offerings provide a unique solution to these hurdles and they can be tailored as specific solutions that meet the specific needs of their clients.
  5. Enhanced Portfolio & Brand Reputation: The integration of bespoke design in your portfolio will immediately diversify your portfolio from your competitors. Having elements that are 100% unique to your design opposed to mass-produced elements will showcase you or your firm’s expertise, creativity, skill, and attention to detail your competitors may lack. This coupled with increased satisfaction that garners positive client testimonials, word-of-mouth recommendations, and reviews will enhance your reputation, credibility, and trust attracting new clients and opportunities for growth.

OLALA | gcfurniture2014-1 (zscaler.com)

8 Examples of Bespoke Offerings in Design 

There are no limitations to bespoke offerings in design and can reflect any specific custom offering no matter how niche. Here are some more common examples prominently seen in the industry:

  1. Furniture: Bespoke furniture is crafted to fit the dimensions of a space perfectly and to reflect the client’s preferred styles, materials, and functionality. 
  2. Cabinetry & Built-ins: Custom cabinetry and built-ins are designed to maximize storage space while seamlessly integrating the overall aesthetics of the space while meeting the client’s organizational needs.
  3. Lighting: Bespoke lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers, pendant lights, and wall sconces, can be designed to complement the overall design scheme and provide the desired lighting level.
  4. Flooring & Wall Treatments: From custom-designed carpets and rugs to hand-painted murals and bespoke wallpaper, flooring and wall treatments can be personalized to enhance the visual appeal and character of a space.

Elegant Solutions Quartz Countertop Installer Simcoe County and Muskoka (elegant-solutions.ca)

  1. Window Treatments: Bespoke window treatments, including curtains, blinds, and shades, are tailored to fit the specific dimensions of each window while complementing the overall design aesthetic and providing privacy and light control.

Automated Shades & Custom Window Treatments | Lutron Luxury

  1. Artwork & Decor: Commissioning bespoke artwork and decor allows clients to showcase their personality and style within their interior space. Whether it’s a custom painting, sculpture, or decorative object, bespoke artwork adds a unique touch of creativity and individuality to the room.
  2. Architectural Details: Architectural elements such as custom wood doors, mouldings, trim work, and panelling can be customized to enhance the character and sophistication of a space. Bespoke architectural details add a sense of craftsmanship and refinement to the overall design.
  3. Smart Home Integration: In today’s digital age, bespoke design can also extend to smart home technology integration. Customized automation systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs and lifestyle preferences of the occupants, offering convenience, comfort, and energy efficiency.

AyA Kitchens | Toronto – Mississauga Based Kitchen Cabinetry Manufacturer | Professional Kitchen Design services from Vancouver, Toronto to New York.

Resources for Bespoke Elements in Design

Want to learn more? Visit the links below.

As we’ve explored, bespoke design isn’t just a passing trend—it’s a timeless approach rooted in craftsmanship, quality, and attention to detail. From tailored furniture to custom lighting, bespoke elements elevate the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your client’s home, creating spaces that are as unique as they are.

So why settle for the ordinary when you can have the extraordinary? Embrace design infused with your client’s personality and made entirely for them.

Ready to elevate your client’s home with bespoke design? Discover the endless possibilities of personalized interiors and embark on a design journey tailored to your client’s unique style and preferences. Bring a sense of self into their home today.

Written By DDA Volunteer
Nicole Marshall